'I'll take T-shirt Rolling for $2000, Alex.' 'What is which group activity kicks off the People's United Bank Vermont City Marathon & Relay volunteering season?' That's right, Volunteer T-shirt rolling – volunteers rolling shirts for every other volunteer. You know, those shirts you see volunteers wearing at Expo, the The Timberlane Dental Group Mini Marathon and all over the course during the marathon. It is but one – albeit a fun one – of the myriad tasks associated with marathon weekend. Believe me, there is no job too small.
Every year in mid-April a dozen of our dedicated volunteers roll 1700 shirts for all our other volunteers. Supplied with boxes (and more boxes) of shirts, along with rubber bands (non-latex, by the way), and stacks of Bueno Y Sano coupons and Texas Roadhouse appetizer cards (kudos to them for their support)...and coffee, this amazing team of volunteers cranks through piles of shirts – fold...add inserts...roll...secure with rubber band – all in about 3 hours. Shirts get moved, unboxed, rolled, reboxed and, soon after, moved out. The volunteers are so fast I regard moving all those boxes around as cross training.
Select Design, our shirt provider and printer, hosts this annual event (thank you Select) where most volunteers work around a large conference table, with a few others in the lobby at 6' tables. These shirts are organized by size: Youth Medium all the way up to 5XL, which would be just about right for most NFL linemen.
Completed boxes are then inventoried, labeled, transported and housed at RunVermont. As we approach marathon weekend, shirts are sorted and grouped for those Marathon Command folks to hand out to their volunteers. Every year a different color – purple, orange, green, blue, yellow – helps runners and spectators identify volunteers so they know who to ask for help.
For every volunteer you see at Expo or on race day handing you water, cheering you on, and answering your questions, there are those like the 'Dynamic Dozen' whose hard work behind the scenes weeks earlier makes it all possible. Working with our volunteers it's easy to see why runners and spectators walk away every year impressed.
Check out our time-lapse video of shirt rolling. They don't really move that fast although it sometimes seems that way.